Friday, December 23, 2016

Bouquets to the Buddhist: By: Raymond Anthony Fernando

The Buddhists worship Buddha, and their teachings always have in mind the needy that are very much in need of compassion and to be freed from suffering. Many of the Chinese here are Buddhists, although there are other races such as Indians and even Africans in Africa who embrace Buddhism.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong rightly paid tribute to Buddhists, the largest religious group here for helping the needy, fund scholarships and bursaries and fostering racial and religious harmony when he officiated at the opening of the new Buddhist College in Bright Hill Road in Bishan.

I admire the statue of Buddha and am glad that his teachings have molded caring and kind-hearted citizens to engage in charity work – both in Singapore and many parts of the world.

What has struck me most about the Buddhist who put into full use the teachings of Buddha is their humility.  And I was privileged to learn useful lessons in humility what I got to know of the wonderful work which the Tzu Chi Foundation does–worldwide.  So impressed by thousands across the globe, many people have become volunteers of this Buddhist Charity who never fail to help in relief efforts by rebuilding homes destroyed by natural disasters in many countries like the Philippines and in Sri Lanka.  

Dharma Master Cheng Yen, a Buddhist nun on 14 May 1966 in Hualien, Taiwan, founded the Tzi Chi Foundation. Inspired by her master and mentor the late Vulnerable Master Yin Shun, this nun was so moved by the poverty and lack of services in Taiwan that she decided to set up the charity, Tzi Chi Foundation.

From their humble beginnings, this group has expanded to become a major civil society actor with approximately 10 million members and chapters in 47 countries worldwide.

Tzi Chi, which does not use its religion to influence all races and religions, has hundreds of doctors who volunteer their time to care for the sick in many parts of the world.  Besides doing charity work, the Foundation is also actively saving the environment through their on-going recycling programs in Singapore and in other nations.

So let’s take lessons from the Buddhist teachings to learn of humility to order to make this a better world.



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